ping machine

a dating app that’s totally normal except when a man tries to send a message a little message pops up saying something like “remember, women are not obligated to respond to your messages” or “sending dick pics without consent is sexual harassment” and they have to click “i understand” before they can send their message

Reasons the “Mayday” montage works so well

I mentioned on twitter that I was going to analyze the montage sequence in “Mayday” from an audio editing standpoint, and I am a man of my word. I have seen it mentioned that audio montages are a rarity, and the cryo montage in “Mayday” is a piece of auditory art that deserves some study. So here we go!

+ Each individual sound effect is introduced to us prior to the montage so we know what they are. The grind and hiss of the machines, the ping! and beep of the computer systems, the crackling ice noises, Eiffel coughs a little and comments that freezing himself wasn’t comfortable. All these sounds are the meat of the montage sequence, so it is important that the listeners understand them.

+ The overlapping. God, this is some smooth editing with a LOT of layers. We don’t need to see every day of Eiffel’s journey, and the montage is used to hammer home the monotony of the ordeal. The same sounds, over and over, mechanical, programmed. Words blend together, days are just numbers getting bigger and bigger.

+ The only thing that changes is Eiffel, slowly, painfully. At first it’s mostly just the numbers/ship names he rattles off, his coughing gets more ragged, gasping, and wetter. We get some verbal updates of just how bad his health is getting. The acting here is really stellar.

+ It is a great example of “show don’t tell” in a medium that kind of relies on the telling. This scene is…grueling. It is suffering and hopelessness and it is presented in a detached yet deeply moving way. There were definitely times when I was sure that I was going to hear Eiffel die in space

+ In “Pan Pan” we are given 2 numbers that stick in our minds. Firstly, we know that Eiffel had been missing for 100 days as of that episode, and through the montage we creep slowly toward that number, expecting to catch up to the crew, then suddenly we over shoot that number and start toward the number of days the crew can keep the Hephaestus running. This jump quickly amps up just how dire the situation is.

+ THAT MUSIC. Seriously, it melds perfectly into the background so I almost didn’t take note of it on the first listen. Then when I listened to Alan Rodi’s track “A Little Mayday Music” by itself later and had an instant, painful reaction. My memory had tightly bound to the music and I hadn’t even noticed. 

+ The montage is full of noise: the piano piece, Eiffel’s coughing and mayday calls, the machinery beeping, freezing and unfreezing, and then everything stops and there is a long, long silence. The hardest thing for me as a stage performer switching to audio medium is that “dead air” is the enemy in theatre, while in a purely audio setting, negative space is just as important as the sound. Wolf 359 does some great things with silence.

That is all I can think of for now! Gabriel Urbina, you are an inspiration to me as an editor, and an artist. Keep doing what you do.